Well, that was interesting, wasn’t it?
Using my old tradition of bullet points, let’s summarise all the successful decisions I made in my first attempt at penetrating Castle Death :
Yeah, pretty much.
Anyway, enough of this sneaking around – full frontal assault at the stone jetty on the other side of the island!
After paddling furiously past an atmospheric description of the stone gargoyles lining the jetty, a practical problem emerges. My boat is too small to dock at the jetty. My initial choice is to either grab the slimy ropes hanging from the jetty, or alternatively to abandon ship and swim for the rocks nearby.
My Magnakai skill of Divination gives some limited help by warning me (!) that neither the rocks nor the ropes are what they seem.
While pondering my psychic abilities, I notice that I am only seconds away from crashing upon the unforgiving jetty. I can dive overboard, grab one of the hanging ropes or, in a surprisingly unhelpful choice, ‘close my eyes and pray’.
Odds are that the whole ‘close your eyes’ option is the sort of thing that counter-intuitively succeeds.
Actually, it may well be that my Divination skill is trying to warn me that the whole jetty / rocks set-up is actually an illusion, and that closing my eyes will allow me to quietly and simply drift into shore (!)
Given that I’m only five minutes into the adventure, I’m going to try that option, just because, either way, I’ll have a story afterwards.
There isn’t a melodramatic illusion, but I am somehow ‘thrown through the air’ and land without damage on the jetty (!) My boat, presumably, goes the way of so many other sidekicks.
At the end the jetty there are two staircases – one going up to a cave, and the other going down to a beach. My Pathmanship skill allows me to notice some stepping stones going across the beach to a crack in the rock wall, and I sense that ‘there is an entrance there’.
I nip down to the beach and approach the gap in the rock face. As something black and scary emerges from the lake, I scoot inside the space and see that it opens into a narrow corridor.
As I move forward, the light from outside inevitably fades, and I check for some kind of light sources. I do have a Lantern (tick for planning!) and the light allows me to continue into some kind of cavern (I’m omitting the colour dialogue about ‘labyrinth of tunnels’, ‘low ceilings’ and so forth.)
In this cavern, there is a staircase leading up to an archway, and a door directly in front of me.
Door it is!
Unfortunately, I don’t possess the Gold Key requested by the book, so I’m not going to get through it, particularly when my ‘basic’ Kai skills regretfully inform me that the lock is magical, meaning that my MEGASWORD presumably can’t penetrate it.
I rather walk up the looooooong staircase before arriving at a landing that leads to a corridor.
However, there is a rather noticeable clear marble step in front of the corridor, and it covers the first ten feet of the corridor. I can stroll over confidently, test it with a weapon or simply jump over it.
Aside : This whole sequence is, by far, the most D & D-esque of the entire Lone Wolf saga so far.
I probe the square with my MEGASWORD. I don’t discover a trap, but manage to clear enough dust that I can now perceive a carving of a snake, with the number ‘123’ in its middle.
I note down this number, while also considering that if that number is a password, it is truly up there with the dumbest passwords of all time.
Aside : Serious flashbacks to this awesome scene from Spaceballs :
I decide not to push my luck, and I vault over the suspect slab before continuing.
I walk along this tunnel for an hour (!!) before emerging into another oval chamber.
The chamber contains a mouldering body, along with a staircase leading up to a trap door in the ceiling. The trapdoor apparently leads to the open air, since the glow of the ‘shield’ is visible.
I can investigate the bones, head up the staircase or continue along the corridor.
Never one to shy away from looting a (long-dead) body, I find 6 Gold Crowns, a Rope (already got one!) and a Red Robe. I assume that the Robe is a BackPack Item, and snaffle it while discarding one of my Meals.
I decide to head up the staircase to the trap-door, but apparently get myself tangled in some kind of evil and sentient cobwebs (!!)
Aside : Seriously, between doors, seaweed and now cobwebs, I’ll probably have to fight a staircase by the time we’re through.
I have to deduct 4CS points for the purpose of this combat, and I (understandably) can’t use Mindblast.
Trap-webs – CS : 14, E : 34
Lone Wolf – CS : 27, E : 27
My high CS saves me any major trouble, as I take out the webs with one blow.
And there, I leave you while, tomorrow, I watch as we take on the top-placed team.
Base Stats : CS : 18, E : 22, GC 31
Final Stats : CS : 33, E : 27
Weapons : Silver Bow of Duadon (+3), Sommerswerd (+8 CS)
Backpack : Potion of Laumspur (+4E), Rope, Meal, Red Robe, Alether Berries (3) (+2 CS), Lantern
Special Items : Jewelled Mace, Brass Whistle, Copper Key, Map, Crystal Star, Shield (+2 CS), Sommerswerd, Silver Bow of Duadon, Padded Waistcoat (+2 E), Chainmail Waistcoat (+4 E) Blue Stone Triangle Pendant, Diamond, Ornate Silver Key, Dagger of Vashna, Quiver (6 arrows), Boat Ticket, Power Key, Fireseeds (3)
Kai Monastery storage : Map of Tekaro, Potion of Laumspur (+4E)
Magnakai Rank : Primate
Magnakai Disciplines : Weaponmastery (+3 CS in Sword, Bow, Mace, Dagger), Pathmanship, Huntmastery, Divination
Lore-Circles : Fire (+1 CS, +2 E)
Kai Disciplines : Camouflage, Animal Kinship, Tracking, Hunting, Sixth Sense, Healing, Mind Over Matter, Mindblast (+2CS), Mindshield, Weaponskill (+2 CS in Short Sword)
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